A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Cornfield Cornfield 10K

How much more Nebraska can you get for a race title, right? I got suckered into running this race by too many Facebook ads about how quickly it would sell out. I figured a) if it sells out, it must be fun and b) having a race on the schedule in June would keep me running at least a little bit. I totally forgot about the fact that at 7:30 on the last Saturday in June, it would be hot, especially during this hotter than usual period we’re having here in Nebraska.
A cornfield!
With the heat in mind, I had no goals for this race other than finishing without overdoing it in the heat. I wasn’t too worried about finishing last because this race was put on by the same group that did the Leprechaun Chase 10K I ran last spring, which attracted lots of costumed runners who were there for beer and a good time. As this race also had a costume contest and beer at the finish on a Saturday morning, I was fairly confident it would be a similar event with a nice mix of speedy and not-so-speedy types. This group does a good job with their race coordination. We got great information in the week before the race about when to arrive, parking, managing the heat and the details of the costume contest. They’d planned for 4 water stops, plus bottles of water and snacks at the finish but also advised you to consider bringing your own water as well. I appreciate a race group that acknowledges the risks of summer running!

More fun costumesFun costumes! Corn talking to a cow seems very Nebraska.

There were 1750 runners and I settled into my place toward the back for an easy run. The first mile was HORRIBLE! The first mile is always horrible isn’t it? πŸ™‚ My knees hurt, I had a weird pain in my hip and the way the first mile was laid out, we ran in a little spiral of ever widening loops around the baseball field that served as our start and finish. That meant that I could easy drop out and get back to my car without anyone noticing. Not that I considered that too much . .Β  . .

Mile 1 always lies. By mile 2, all of those aches and pains had fallen away and I was left with the “joys” of a sunny, hilly, hot Nebraska run. There was a breeze occasionally, which was nice, but the sun was brutal. I didn’t have my Garmin on and just did a little run/walk mix of however IΒ  liked it. I had a lot of fun chatting with people at the back of the pack, cheering each other on and cheering for the faster runners we could see occasionally looping near us thanks to the layout of the course.
Cornfield cornfield

There was definitely at least one corn field and DEFINITELY cows somewhere nearby, if the manure smell was any indication (although I suppose that could be used as fertilizer too). There were people in costumes occasionally, too.
Never appreciated a sprinkler moreThere was also a much appreciated sprinkler at mile 4!

At this point in my running life, I know how these “easy” races go. I get passed by lots of people in the first mile, settle into my little rhythm of running each mile a little quicker than the last, and slowly find myself passing all of those people who passed me. There was one hill where I stopped to walk and someone said “Keep running! You can do it!” I won’t lie to you guys – I passed her at the end and enjoyed it. I’m sure she meant well but that always grates my nerves in a race. You do you, I’ll do me.
Finish in the baseball field
The race finished with a loop inside the baseball field, which was sort of cool, except they didn’t tell us that ahead of time and it was confusing to get to the 6 mile marker and not see the finish line at all. One person next to me asked me if we were just finished, so something pointing to the finish line would have helped I think! Water was plentiful and cold at the finish, thankfully, but I skipped the watermelon and corn and beer because waiting in line held zero appeal. I will definitely be following up on social media, however, to see who won the costume contest. I hope it was the farmer girl because I am seriously impressed that she ran in that!
Fun costumes
My finish time was around 1:26, but since it was over 80 degrees the whole time and I very wisely treated this as a good time rather than a race, I’ll take it. I got my miles in, had fun chatting with people (strangely, races are the only time I feel like I can easily talk to strangers!) and learned about the Chicken Show in Wayne NE (can’t promise I won’t be going to that!). All in all, a good time, a comfy shirt and I got 6.2 miles in. Definitely a win – but I think in the future I’ll stick to cooler months for races over 5K!

If you don’t mind the heat, this would be a fun race. Not crowded, well supported and organized and a lovely little hilly course around a local lake. If they ran this in OCTOBER instead of June, I’d register every year. πŸ™‚

Have you ever considered dropping out of a race in the first mile? I was proud of myself for resisting the urge, but between the heat and the aches and pains I was seriously tempted! Mile 1 lies!

Advertisements
4 Comments »

Birthday Gifts to Myself

My birthday is coming up soon and while my birthday list on Amazon includes some things for my upcoming marathon training (starts 8/1!), I’m also working on a list of things to gift myself this year. As I get nearer and nearer 40, I’m realizing that the less tangible things mean as much or more than the things that come in those lovely gift boxes.

– I’m going to give myself the gift of letting go of some of the pressure in my life. I don’t need to be “nationally recognized” for my job, no matter what others may say. That is not the only measure of success, even if it feels like it in my job sometimes. I just want to do my job the best I can. If that comes with bigger opportunities, I’ll swallow my introverted nerves and tackle it, but I don’t have to let others push me along just for the sake of advancement.

– I’m going to give myself the forgiveness I need for regaining weight. I was terrified when I first started Weight Watchers, listening to all of those people who’d lost significant amounts of weight only to regain it all and swearing that wouldn’t be me. All the while, my rational mind knew that they probably thought the same when they were in my shoes. I didn’t fail in regaining 20 pounds. This is part of it. I’m still trying and that’s victory. I find myself feeling that sense of shame and failure far too often in the last few months, which is unfair and a binge trigger, so I need to forgive myself and move on. It isn’t failure – it’s been a chance to learn new things and grow.

Pas 5kThis chick may be slower and fluffier than she’d like to be, but she’s still pretty great most days. πŸ™‚

– I’m going to give myself permission to be a slow runner. Guess what: I’ll probably never get faster. I’ll certainly never be “fast” but I’m out there having fun and that’s good enough.

– I’m going to give myself the gift of accepting compliments. Compliments make so many of us uncomfortable and yet we do both ourselves and the giver of the compliment a disservice when we reject them. I’m accepting my compliments as the gifts they are (well, I’ll start practicing it anyway).

If you could give yourself a birthday gift, what would it be?

Leave a comment »

Tuesdays on the Run: How Often Do You Race?

This is a particularly funny question for me because this weekend I did TWO races. I’d signed up for the 10K a while ago, lured in by the “register before it sells out” ad I saw from our running club on Facebook. The 5K I did Sunday was a total impulse purchase to cheer myself up during a run of bad news in the world. That particular blip aside, this year has been a lot lighter on the races than last year. So far this year, I’ve done one half marathon, a 5 miler, a 10K and a couple of 5Ks. I’ll do a couple of other half marathons in the fall, my usual Peak 2 Peak 10 miler and I’m sure a handful of other 5Ks.

New Orleans sunriseThis year has been more about solo runs than races.

Last year, with my goal of 100 miles of races for the year, I felt like I was running a race every few weeks. Really, my happy medium would be somewhere between this year and last year. Having races every month or so keeps me a little more diligent in my running, even if I am running those races for fun for the most part. I definitely don’t want to take on more than one or two “goal” races each year – whether that goal is a time goal or a new distance/challenge goal.

What have I done?!Speaking of new distance goals!

My running budget is a little happier with fewer races this year, that’s for sure. Next week, we’re talking about how we choose races in the Tuesdays on the Run link up. Thanks as always to Erika, Patty and Marcia for hosting our link up!

ToTR logo

How often do you race? Do you have an “ideal” racing frequency or a plan for how you’ll race or do you wing it? Anybody else get suckered in by the idea of “register before it sells out!”?

2 Comments »

Weekly Wrap-Up: Definitely more active!

Between (slightly) better weather and two races, this week was definitely more active than last week. In addition to actually getting in at least one weekday run and two walks, my goals for this week were to do my strength training since that totally fell off of my radar last week. I’m happy to say I did great with that goal! I did my hiking-focused exercises three days and planks and push ups every day. Big win! I actually did some kind of intentional exercise EVERY DAY this week. Much better!

Workouts

Monday We sent Darrell to see Wrath of Khan at the movie theater for his Father’s Day gift, so it was just Oliver and I for dinner Monday. We went for a walk in the neighborhood together before settling in for dinner and crafting together. He wanted to make Darrell a belated Father’s Day gift of a book. His drawings were so cute!
An evening walk?
Tuesday I woke up early for a thirty minute run around the neighborhood. The forecast called for rain, but I figured the rain would only help to cool things off (and it ended up not being much rain). Just practicing waking up early was as beneficial for my fitness as the run I suspect. It’s amazing how easy it is to fall out of that habit!

Wednesday I walked laps at the pool while O was in swim lessons. He and I also got an extra walk in after we went to a work picnic together (Darrell at the second of the Star Trek movies we sent him to this week).

Thursday I woke up early and went for a walk. It was hot and I had back to back races coming this weekend, so I gave myself the morning off from running. I actually woke up at 5 am just to get this walk in since I had a 7 am meeting. Any time I get in any kind of exercise before a 7 am meeting, I think I should get bonus points, don’t you?

Friday Another early morning walk, plus lots of running around doing errands.

Saturday I ran the Cornfield 2 Cornfield 10K (race recap coming later this week), which finished with corn on the cob, watermelon and beer at 9 am on a Saturday morning. Hmmm. . . . I will admit that I skipped that after party, appealing as it seemed. It was so HOT and the watermelon and other stuff was under this crowded tent. I didn’t want to go hang around more sweaty people with poor air flow. πŸ™‚ All in all, it was fun (especially chatting with people at the back of the pack) but oy was it hot!! Remind me again next summer that I don’t like to race in the summer!

A cornfield!

Sunday I registered on impulse for the Road to Omaha run, which is a 5K held in conjunction with the College World Series. It finished with a loop around the baseball stadium and we get to see ourselves on the Jumbotron, which might be more fun if we didn’t look like a bunch of people who’d just been crazy enough to run in the June heat. πŸ™‚

All in all, not a bad week.

My good deed this week was passing out compliments every day. I made it a goal to compliment someone at least once a day and it was so fun to see people smile. πŸ™‚ My NSV is how consistent I’ve been with sticking to my snacking goals (no M&M’s and no night time snacking) despite a busy week with lots of temptations.

I’m grateful that the adorable Amazon commercial with the dog and the lion’s mane is on YouTube here and I can watch it as often as I want. I confess I have it bookmarked on my phone and watch it any time I’ve felt down in the last week.

Thanks as always to Holly and Tricia for hosting our link up!

weekly wrap up

Do you feel like you should get bonus points for those first few morning workouts where you have to set an alarm to drag yourself out of bed? It gets easier as I get into the rhythm of training, but those first few mornings are tough! I definitely feel like I should get even more points if I drag myself out of bed early in the rain to work out.

4 Comments »

5 weeks until marathon training!

Yikes! I still can’t quite wrap my mind around the fact that I’m going to be MARATHON training. Crazy. Lots of people I know are starting their marathon training cycle or getting ready to start (check out Jennifer’s great post “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly“), which had me looking at the calendar to see that I have 5 weeks left. Wow! What can I do in the next 5 weeks to be ready for a good start?

  • Keep up the 5-6 mile runs on the weekend and couple of weekday runs, so I’m not starting from zero on week one.
  • Stick to my tracking and calorie target for the next 5 weeks, but start focusing on quality as much as calories so I’m in the habit of good fueling when training starts. Any weight I can lose between now and then is a benefit, obviously, but training requires a lot of attention to nutrition as a whole. I’m also re-reading Racing Weight and Eat to Peak this month to refresh my nutrition basics for training and to make a plan.
Definitely recommend this as a great guide to nutrition for runners!

Definitely recommend this as a great guide to nutrition for runners!

  • Stay diligent about strength training. I know that strength training is the first thing to fall off my to-do list when I start running 5-6 days a week, so establishing that good baseline will go a long way toward an injury free training cycle.
  • Training starts in summer, so that means working on hydration not just during the runs but all day. I’ve noticed I’ve fallen off of the wagon a bit in my water goals in the last week or so, so time to get back on board!
I filled my 32 oz water bottle as soon as I got to work and promise to refill it at least twice more today!

I filled my 32 oz water bottle as soon as I got to work and promise to refill it at least twice more today!

Importantly, I also going to enjoy this last month of running without a Garmin and without pressure. πŸ™‚

Marathon vets out there, anything else I need to do to get ready for training?

3 Comments »

Losing weight a second time

It’s been an interesting week in my weight loss world. To say I’ve been frustrated at the stall in the scale despite the fact that I know I’m eating far fewer calories and much healthier calories than I was a month ago is a huge UNDERSTATEMENT. However, I’m impressed with how much better I’m handling it overall than I would have in the past. In the past, I would have given up by now. Eating well for a month without a change in the scale to show for it? Screw this. Might as well go back to eating fries. (I’m not the only one, right?) In fairness, I’d lost 5 pounds over 3 weeks before that fall where I broke my finger. For some reason I still don’t understand, I jumped up 4 pounds after that fall and those pounds haven’t gone away like I would have expected if they were just swelling from my injuries. This is some odd mix of injury and hormones, I suspect.Β 
TemptationKnock on wood – still resisting these guys!

This time I have more confidence that I will eventually lose the weight despite what the scale says today. The first time, I was unsure if it would really work. Anybody else have that little voice that says “Weight loss works for other people, but you know it’ll never work for you. You’re stuck here.” That voice is lying. The same thing doesn’t work for everyone, but something will work. This time, I know I’m capable of losing weight and I know that ups and downs and plateaus are part of it. I even know that I’m capable of maintaining it – I maintained within 5-10 pounds for over 2 years before this period of regain. Knowing that this is an attainable feat, that this is possible, makes me a little more patient. It also makes me a little quicker to re-evaluate what I’m really doing, where the gain really comes from, when things aren’t going well.

Since recommitting, I’ve noticed how often I reach for snacks and extra bites. Turns out, if I make myself write those bites down, I’m not nearly as hungry as I thought I was. I definitely snack out of habit. I feel like I’m doing a better job of waking up to that and watching that this time than I did the first time I lost weight. Last time, I’d tell myself that the fact that I ate Oliver’s leftover PB&J was okay because it was only part of the sandwich and I’d skipped fries at lunch. This time, I know that those calories count too.

This time, I’m really working to learn more about myself and my patterns. This is an on-going process and I’m continually going to be tweaking it. Right now, with little progress on the scale despite the improvement in my calorie intake and the quality of food, I’ve found myself frustrated and teetering on the edge of binge-territory more often than I have in ages. I’m confident enough in my ability to eventually lose this weight and cognizant enough of the dangerous territory I’m in binge-wise at the moment to accept the scale for what it is and not try to drop my calorie intake (currently 1600-1700 calories a day) or restrict any particular foods because restriction is going to tip me over into a binge. I’ll hang at this calorie level until my weight starts to drop (which I suspect it will) or until I feel on more even keel from a binge perspective and better able to re-evaluate my calorie level. I didn’t pay as much attention to how I was doing mentally the first time around and would have definitely let this kind of stalling lead me to do something drastic.

I am pleasantly surprised by how little time I’m spend dwelling on a sense of failure from re-gaining. As a textbook type-A, overachiever smart kid, failure is a HUGE trigger for me. It isn’t failure. It’s just life. We pick up, we learn, we adjust. The fact that I realize that has put a whole different spin on losing weight a second time.

Have you had to lose weight more than once? Did you find the process any different the second (or third or fourth) time around?

2 Comments »

Tuesdays on the Run: Bizarre sights & events

I haven’t really had any bizarre things that have happened on my runs, other than this weekend’s morbid run with sidewalks full of dead baby birds after the storm. I have certain slightly odd things that happen all too often though:

– I fall in creative ways, like my wipe out over my shoelaces just a couple of weeks ago and that time I flew through the air so much (thanks to ice!) that I actually came down and smacked my face on the road in addition to banging up my knee. Ouch! Thank goodness I don’t get many biomechanical injuries with my running because my clumsiness is enough of a risk for me!

– I’ve gotten lost far too many times, in my own neighborhood, when I’m traveling and memorably (and gorgeously) in Italy. At least during that episode, I met some really lovely ladies who were also lost in the hills of Tuscany!

image

– I’ve encountered every kind of weather on the run, I do believe, thanks to the craziness that is the Midwest. I’ve run in rain and snow and heat and hail, just like the postal service. I even finished a run just before a tornado hit – Definitely wouldn’t recommend that! I think the only thing I’m missing is a hurricane, but don’t worry – I won’t be heading out to find one of those to run in!

image

The fact that run in all kinds of weather probably ties into all of those falls, don’t you think?

I forgot about it until I was looking through pictures the other day for another post, but I did have a bizarre encounter in Italy with a blind dog that was some kind of miraculous guide for we poor lost tourists. I’d forgotten about him.

Meet Pablo.

Meet Pablo.

“I initially heard about Pablo from colleagues who also got lost along the same trail I took Wednesday. They told me about a blind dog who led them back to the right path and up into town. They learned his name because everyone in Barga apparently knew him.:) They were amazed at this weird cosmic experience of the dog who herded them along the right path despite the fact that they kept trying to go astray and the fact that his cataracts are so bad he can’t possibly see anything. Yesterday, when I went out for a little run, I took a little wrong turn along the way back and as I was wandering a bit trying to get re-oriented, I saw Pablo. I was incredibly reassured by the fact that he didn’t seem to feel the need to intervene with me like he did my colleagues and sure enough, I realized I could see the correct path. I’m glad I got to meet this canine guardian angel (and glad I got back on the right path!).”

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you on a run?

Thanks as always to Erika, Patty and Marcia for hosting our link up!

ToTR logo

8 Comments »

Weekly Wrap Up

I don’t even know what to title this week’s wrap up. Everything seems so colored by the multiple sad events in the world last week, particularly in Orlando. In my rational mind, I know that horrible things happen in the world every day, every hour even. Somehow, violation of such safe spaces has rattled me. I can’t wrap my mind around the horror of what happened at Pulse, but voices stronger than mine have spoken to that and should be allowed to speak to that. The little boy at Disneyworld was particularly close to home for us. We’ve been on that beach. We stay at the Polynesian, which is along that body of water. It is our family’s happy place and now it feels violated. Even more so, I live in Elkhorn. I run in the neighborhood where that poor family lives. This feels doubly close to home and my heart just aches for that poor family. No matter the circumstances, to lose your child is horrifying to contemplate. I confess, I’ve felt uneasy all week and was even nervous at lunch on Saturday with Oliver playing at the mall a mere 10 feet away from me. Somehow the fact that we were in public made me feel unsafe with him out of arms reach. I’ve always known the world is an unpredictable and dangerous place, on an intellectual level, but this week has brought that to home on an emotional level that has had me feeling nauseous and achy and ill at ease all week. As much as my thoughts and prayers are with all of those directly effected this week by these events and by others that didn’t even register on our collective national radars, I even more fervently hope that we can move beyond hopes and prayers to make these events less likely.

Needless to say, I didn’t run much this week. Any morning I woke up early to run, Oliver also seemed to get up early and I just couldn’t make myself leave him for time to myself. He was rattled by the little boy at Disney too. As much as he doesn’t know what happened, he knows something bad happened. He was really upset about it Wednesday morning, so we had a Mommy-Oliver date that I think we both needed to reconnect and soothe each others spirits a bit. Dancing in an empty cupcake shop definitely helped. πŸ™‚

Date time

I did get some workouts in, I promise, although they were mostly walks in deference to the heat. I did a couple of hilly miles Tuesday and Thursday mornings that were mostly walking. On Wednesday, my FitBit gave me credit for 40+ minutes of activity based on the amount of hand motions I did and my elevated heart rate, but that was actually during a Q&A session I was doing for students so it wasn’t really exercise. I’m just a really energetic speaker. πŸ™‚ That was definitely my good deed for the week. I stand in the center of a group of 75 college students and answer pretty much anything and everything about my job, which gets really interesting. One girl asked about work-life balance and approached me after my talk to explain that she was interested in my job, but also really wanted a family and was thinking that she couldn’t possibly have both. That made me (and my husband) incredibly sad, to think that you’d think you have to choose. That may be true for a select few jobs, but we naively think that if you work at it as a couple, you can make anything work.
I'm a really dynamic speaker apparently

I really did get a little revved up during that talk!

Over the weekend, I did at least get in more official workouts. I ran 5 incredibly hot and sweaty miles Saturday morning. They were the most depressing miles I’d had in ages and not because of the weather or my pace (abysmally slow thanks to the heat). Our neighborhood is full of blue ribbons to show support for the little boy killed at Disneyworld and every time I think of him, my heart shudders a bit. That, coupled with the bizarrely large number of nests and baby birds blown out trees and killed in a bad storm we had Friday night made for a run with entirely too many reminders of death.

In memoriam

Sunday was better. Oliver and I started the day with an alphabet scavenger hunt at our grocery store, which got both us of moving at a steady clip around Hy Vee for 30 minutes while we hunted for things that started with A, B, C, etc (V was hard and X pretty impossible!). This both got us a little exercise and allowed Darrell the chance to sleep in for Father’s Day. πŸ™‚
ABC scavenger hunt

After that, I went for a hilly 4 mile walk before we started Father’s Day festivities of taking Darrell out to lunch at his favorite taco place and then dinner at hibachi. My NSV this week is that I wore a too-short dress but instead of feeling self conscious, I found myself frequently admiring my own legs. πŸ™‚ My other NSV? All of this sadness had me contemplating chucking this whole tracking and eating right thing just to drown my sorrows in cookies but I resisted. Little victories can be big.

I’m grateful this week for every moment I get to hold my family safe this week and every week. I hope for the same for you!

Thanks as always to Tricia and Holly for hosting our link up! I’m hoping that reading everyone else’s wrap ups this week will get me motivated to get more on board with my summer exercise plan so I’m ready for that hike of Pulpit Rock I have coming later this summer and for marathon training in August! I have a 10K coming up this Saturday and a 5K on Sunday, so at least I know I’ll get some miles done this week. Fingers crossed that the weather cools a bit by the weekend!

weekly wrap up

10 Comments »

Book Review: First Ladies of Running

This month’s book club selection is “First Ladies of Running” by Amby Burfoot (link FYI – no perks for me). I enjoyed this far more than I was expecting to! Thanks as always to Wendy for hosting the Taking the Long Way Home book club.

2c86e-img_1020

I confess, I initially thought this would be another book about elite runners who were nothing like me and that I wouldn’t be able to connect with. From the beginning, I could tell that wasn’t going to be true. In the introduction, Shalane Flanagan highlights the variations on a theme that came up over and over in the book:

Before I started running, I was very shy and insecure. Running gave me a sense of self, and a voice to express that self.

I didn’t expect to find something so true to my own experience at the beginning of a book full of women who made history, so it definitely had me reading on with a more open mind. I was not disappointed. Many of the stories in this book were ones I was very familiar with, like Kathrine Switzer and Bobbi Gibb, but so many others were new to me. It amazes me to imagine how different the world was for some of these pioneers, who ran in school uniforms because it would be “unseemly” for them to wear anything else. In many ways, we take for granted how far we’ve come as women (although we still have a long way to go). I am amazed and grateful for these women who stood up in small and yet huge ways to pave the way for the rest of us.

Keep on keepin on

Most of these stories were of women I’d never heard of. I think my favorite might be Joan Ullyot, who wrote Women’s Running and got to use her brains (a doctor, so already going a bit against the grain for her era) to counter all of the reasons women shouldn’t run. My favorite might be the bit about why we don’t worry about sagging in guys if we’re so worried about sagging boobs in women. After all, “they hang a lot looser than breasts.” Definitely a woman with a lot to say! Her books are on my summer reading list now!

I confess, I even have a new appreciation for Oprah’s place among women runners. I’ve never been a big Oprah acolyte, although I absolutely respect her accomplishments. I’ve never thought of her as having a place in the history of women’s running, but I don’t know if a back of the packer like me would ever even be in the position to consider a marathon if someone as “normal” (in an athletic sense at least) as Oprah hadn’t done it so publicly to open the door for anyone to run. That isn’t to say that there weren’t a wide variety of people running marathons before she did, but she definitely raised the profile in a way that impacted many of us. I also found myself cheering for her (not a position I ever thought I’d be in!) as I read through the author’s recounting of that marathon, even though I know that she finished okay. I’ve got to say, reading that chapter did a lot to quell doubts I’ve had lately of my own marathon dreams.

Amby Burfoot does a great job telling the stories of these women in a way that is engaging, inspiring and very re-readable. It’s nice, too, that these are short chapters, so the stories stay focused and don’t wander too much into random territory like a single longer memoir might. I am glad I got this as an e-book. I keep it on my phone and find myself re-reading these stories when I get frustrated or distracted in my day and it always gives me that small break to re-focus and re-energize. If these women could do these amazing things, big and small, I can handle my day.
TLWH book club June

I recommend this highly for your summer reading and for your “gift idea” list for any runners and/or women in your life. These stories are a badly needed boost of “can do” in a world that feels full of “can’t” and bad news these days.

What do you read when you need a little boost?

4 Comments »

Why no nighttime snacks?

Darrell asked me this week why I’d set “no nighttime snacks” as one of my goals. We always had our evening snack together and I think he misses it. Avoiding nighttime snacking is a common bit of weight loss advice, but recent research suggests that maybe there isn’t anything inherently bad about getting calories at night and that the problem comes with what kind of calories and how many calories we eat after dark. (Check out these for more info:Is late eating more likely to pack on pounds (WebMD);The Health Impact of Nighttime Eating: Old and New Perspectives ) This is likely an area where the research will continue to evolve and we’ll have to keep an eye on that. For me, avoiding nighttime snacking is more about the mental side of this.

A) “Closing shop” after dinner is an important measure of control for me, to show myself that I am in charge and not food. I am more likely to be successful in “closing shop” if I do it earlier, when I’m satisfied from dinner and less tired (and weak).
Closed for the nightB) It helps me avoid a time that I know has been a frequent binge period for me. There’s something about the night that makes all of the doubts and fears and angst that sends me into the pantry seem so much more overwhelming. It’s easier for one thing to become a deep dive of disgust after dark, for me. Knowing my own patterns is huge for me in managing my binge eating.

 

C) It helps me practice distinguishing eating from habit versus true hunger. It’s amazing how often I’m perfectly content at 8:45 and then starving at 9 pm, because 9 pm is always when I have my snack. Now that I’m ten days or so into avoiding that nighttime snack urge, it’s getting easier and easier to ignore that 9 pm twinge and you know what I’ve noticed? By 9:15, I’m not hungry anymore. If I was truly physically hungry, that wouldn’t work.

I frequently have calories available at night, but I know that eating those calories isn’t worth the slippery slope it puts me on in terms of binge eating. All in all, I feel like I’m eating much healthier foods and much healthier portions since I reset my focus a few weeks ago. I’m getting better at making choices that fuel my body and keep me on an even keel mentally (tricky because restricting can also be a binge trigger!). Is it paying off in the scale? Not very quickly. Before my fall last week, I was down to 185 but since the fall I’ve been stuck at 188. Frustrating to say the least, but it’s still a pound down from where I started a few weeks ago and it isn’t a gain. I keep reminding myself that this is about getting back to a healthier place with eating as much as it losing weight and on that front at least, I’ve made definite strides. Keep on keepin’ on.

Are you okay with snacking at night or do you have to be watchful of that as well?

2 Comments »